Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. Obviously it started out as a blog about my cross-dressing but it has developed a great deal since then. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the New Readers' Page above this and the tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Quantum Leaps

My story was about someone called
Anastasia Cable.

It was before Fifty Sheds of Grey was a
thing. Apparently, the knitting is an
Anastasia Cable Knit. And now you know.
Back in 2006 I undertook my first, and arguably last, NaNoWriMo. I say last, it was the last one I got to spend any time on, and the last I wrote the wordcount in a contiguous piece. It was the last one I enjoyed. In that year, one of my fellow writers wrote a rather funny little book (no, really) but it took a while to get going. The opening to that book seems appropriate, as does the TV show which was ripped off for that opening, so here it is:

Theorising that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Dr. Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished. He woke to find himself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that were not his own and driven by an unknown force to change history for the better. His only guide on this journey is Al, an observer from his own time, who appears in the form of a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. And so Dr. Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home.

This is not his story.

Although there are certain parallels.

And there are.


The Leap Home

No teesh Missus Tittlemouse, no teesh.

I have no tonsils.
There was illness, there was a bit of pain. Tilly and the littlest one were hit by tonsillitis. Somehow the elder two escaped (I have no tonsils) but Tilly had it bad and the small one couldn't keep food down. For around a week that was all that was happening. I'd work, come home, have the small one on my lap and so on. I think I may have spoken about this already. Anyway, upshot was that there was a hiatus in our discussions. Then, after a week and then into me feeling sick, Tilly inquired after me feeling unwell. I struggled to formulate a response and explained that I was not used to being asked if I felt well.

Tilly responded badly. This was a bad thing, you see, this was not who she was. She had learned how to be unsympathetic from me. I had broken her and she had then gone on to break me. It wasn't right that I was unclear about what to do because it meant that she was being uncaring and she had learned how to be uncaring from me a long time ago. We had, apparently, discussed this at the beginning of our relationship - my lack of sympathy was down to the way I was brought up and so she had learned from me how to not care about my illnesses as I did not care about her being ill. Clearly I had made a change recently, what with the tonsillitis and all, but it was only recently.

I am shit at playing games. I watch other people
play them on youtube. I wonder if there is an
extension of this metaphor to include that?
I pointed out that I was merely making an observation that I was used to being told that me mentioning feeling ill was 'going on about it' and that I did not really know what to do with her apparent concern, I was busy brushing it off. But, I conceded, I had to remember that, as with all things, it was my fault. I could bring things up, I said sarcastically, provided I remembered that it was all my fault. I got her message loud and clear.

Tilly got angry. She hit back.

Fine, I said, I was waiting for a decision and she still hadn't given it. I suspected that, in itself, was a decision.

There was a long pause.

Our lips touched!

We actually kissed on the lips!
Then she hugged me and offered an actual kiss. We went our separate ways. I get it, it's guilt. She doesn't like feeling guilty, who does, and that is why she lashes out and seeks to assign it elsewhere. Once I realised that it was easier to let her do it.

Later on that evening, Tilly approached me again. We would have to do many more such talks, she said, we had much to work through. And she would have to concede that she may not succeed, there was still the physical stuff (she shuddered) and that may not work. But she had made her decision: she could put up with my ASD. I pointed out that my ASD was part of the same Hydra as 'the physical stuff' and she would have to be ready to contend with that. Was she certain? Tilly said that she was. We hugged. She kissed me on the lips - first time in a long time - and we hugged some more.

Since then she has made a point of hugging more, offering kisses, and even inquiring after my day. We have, briefly, discussed the fact that it was she that stopped me sending what I thought were romantic texts on a morning (I would pull in on the way to work and tell her about the sunrise and liken it to her etc) because she was suspicious that they were not real, that no one actually felt that way. I pointed out that, well, I did.

Success?

The top of the pile here.

Not sure I have all three of the others... No
matter, there were four in the laundry, Tilly
just saw the top pair here.
Over the weekend, as my father and his wife were up (and we talked shop about latest developments in my relationship, I have been using my father and mother as sounding boards since early November), I had to do the laundry. Tilly saw a pair of knickers that I had hidden badly, as in not at all, and got shirty. Now, I was unaware she had seen anything. Not until later when she irritably told me she'd seen them and was angry about it. It was just another example of how hard it was going to be to trust me: she was under the impression that I'd stopped wearing knickers. I point out I'd said no such thing and that I had worn knickers as I'd run out of boxers. This was a lie. A bare-faced lie. Tilly called me on it but I remained firm.

Yes, I lie to Tilly about these sorts of things. Can't imagine why.

Tilly remarked upon trust again. But said that she was working on it, it was her issue, not mine, and something I shouldn't have to hide. I pointed out there was no 'should', I just did, for her and at her request. Another pause whilst child things happened. That is, we were called upon to be parents for a few hours. Oh, my father and his wife had gone.

When I first met Tilly, I would visit her in her flat.

Her underwear would festoon radiators in her house, and
most of it was... well, it was small knickers. Even thongs.

She'd get upset if I pointed this out or brushed them.

When I dry mine I hang them on the big dryers we have and I
hide them behind t-shirts and shirts and trousers. If you don't
know they're there, you won't see them. Because, as I recall,
seeing them just made her irrationally angry.

In that sense, I suspect nothing has changed. But I'm doing well
because Tilly didn't know I was wearing them.
Then she confronted me again. I shouldn't lie to her, she began, it was the lies that were the problem. Much to-ing and fro-ing about this from me: what did she mean? Did she want me to announce when I was or was not wearing knickers? Tilly: what about all those times I had proclaimed no knickers when pointing out what difference underwear made (she's right, about 50% of the time I was lying)? Was it just when she spotted them? What? Tilly got angrier and angrier, why couldn't I just be honest in the narrow area she was allotting and then, just, lie by omission? I pointed out that she was the one that had said lying by omission was just as bad and had also told me to lie better because what she didn't know didn't hurt her. Yes, agreed Tilly, I was right, why couldn't I do that? Because it was impossible to do both. And that, argued Tilly, is why she can't trust me.

We paused, I bit back the part about this being a bit unfair and something of a trap from which I could not escape. She set the boundaries and then complained that the boundaries meant I lied to her. I said nothing and just waited. Again, it's guilt. I get it.

Fine, she spat angrily, it was about how I shouldn't have to hide all this from her. She appreciated what I was doing, she understood it was for her, and that I wasn't going to stop. Fine. I shouldn't have to lie. If she asked, could I tell the truth? And, if she didn't ask, could I just not say anything? Don't ask, don't tell.

I warily agreed.

Yay for Boy vomit!
We hugged again. She didn't want me to be in a position where I had to hide things from her, she said, finally, her anger dissipated. But then we were interrupted, literally, by the Boy being sick. And so ended Sunday, day something of this saga.

And that's been it. I've been on the sofa again for a couple of nights whilst the Boy recovered from what we suspect was food poisoning and I've been struggling (and failing) to keep up with work as I count down the days until the end of term and some holidays. Things seem... well, if not positive, they have moved a little in a positive direction. We are in a better place, it would appear, than we were at the end of October.

Don't get me wrong, I think this is good. I just... I just wish each move wasn't accompanied by the anger and the vitriol and the blaming me and the lashing out. I get she gets to a better place if I just let her get on with it, but I feel like I'm being used as a punchbag in the meantime and it's hard. Also, it still makes me feel stupid to talk about all of the positives so soon after hitting the panic button. There's a reason I shared the anecdote about not running away from home. That kind of shit is hard-wired into me now, and, well, I feel stupid.

Not sure how I'd pass...
Inamongst all of this, I spoke to my mother. Initially I rang to let her know that there had been a positive move in the relationship, my mother has been touching base with me every couple of days since I first told her around the 7th or so of November, and has been praying for us etc. She is of the opinion that Tilly is odder than I and that I am not autistic. I love my mother, I do, but she is strange sometimes. Anyway, I had also told her, again, that I was a cross-dresser. I called the fact that she did not remember the first time. Anyway, she wanted to understand better, she said, and asked if I wanted to go out dressed. I think she was asking how far I want to take it? I answered truthfully, yes but I didn't think I could pass, along with affirming that I don't wear women's clothes - they're mine.

So... an eventful couple of weeks.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

You know my weaknesses

I was reminded recently of an episode from my youth. I had an argument with my parents, I would have been about 7 or 8, and I threatened to leave home. It must have been bad, my parents essentially said: "go on then." So I tried. But I was 7 or 8. I packed clothes and toiletries, a couple of cars, and then walked out of the house. No one stopped me. I walked down the street. Nothing. But I had nowhere to go. No mobile phones, no way of letting anyone know I was coming, and no one who would take me in without asking questions. I didn't have close enough friends to stop at their place - none of their parents would look after an extra child. I had no income. My bank account book was still in the house, my parents kept it for me, so I couldn't even access my savings (would have been a couple of hundred at the time). In the end, about half an hour, I had to go back.

My parents initially did nothing. When I raised it, they laughed. Should have planned better, they said, don't make threats you can't keep. Also, they pointed out how silly I had been, I was a child, I couldn't run away. I'm sure they were attempting some form of parenting psychology. What I learned, however, was that my feelings on a matter were irrelevant. No one ever said they were glad I hadn't gone. My emotional blackmail had failed.

It prepared me well, I suspect, for my current situation.

The family went to Birmingham for a night to visit Tilly's friend for a day. They had a lot of fun. I, meanwhile, watched a couple of films and fell behind deadlines at work because I am struggling. The weekend is busy, plans to meet up with Sierra and Pik and their children today if Tilly isn't ill again, and thus I fall further behind. No more discussions, some more hugs, still no word on the decision of whether Tilly can live with my ASD approach to romance and relationships enough to actually try having a physical dimension. Is she actively hoping it will go away? Probably. Who knows?

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

To Live To Love

I was partially planning an update, all about where things are and what has and has not changed. To put my mournful style into context with ruminations on my lack of luck with love-related matters - perhaps my ASD has always preyed on me and my dealings with women to the extent that the current situation is, indeed, the best I can get.

But then Tilly actually brought it up. By going through the medium that my brother and I are both irreparably broken when it comes to birthdays and Christmas, and how hard that is for her and my brother's wife and how it is likely down to my mother and how angry that makes her; via a detour through how much I suck the joy from all gatherings and occasions, with a stop-over at how much I ruined last Christmas with our deep and meaningful about my diagnosis and subsequent decision(?) to wear underwear - not so named but hinted at strongly - Tilly admitted that she was winding herself up.

What if we couldn't kick-start our relationship again? What if we tried to be physical and she couldn't give a shit? That would end in divorce, so I had said, and that was terrible. It's not just the security, she says, but it is also is - because she wouldn't have that and asking for me to continue to support things would be unfair. Sooner or later she would lose the house and that would be the end of everything. I explained that my own planning was, if it came to that, I was prepared to work on the support so that she would at least have the house until the youngest was 14. My aim was 18, that might not happen, but I wasn't going to let decisions about our children we took together unravel because of that. Equally, I respected her too much to leave her in penury, at least until she had the time to find another relationship.

She hugged me. Said it was nice. Said it helped. She was winding herself up. Nothing more has been said.

Tilly is no closer. Sometimes she wants to end it all and sometimes she wants to make a change. She's scared of a divorce. That does rather suggest an overall direction, to be fair.

A Story

In the before times, when this blog was naught but a guilty idea existing in the future, there was a troubled young father. A child had been born and there had been ructions. He had been ejected unceremoniously from the recovery ward and his partner and new child, spending a fitful night away before being allowed back in only at 9am. In those hours the relationship between this young father and his partner had shifted in ways that the young father would only learn at his leisure many years later. For a start the partner, soon wife, had decided that she alone could shoulder the burden of the new child. She alone could be trusted. She was not supported, she was not respected. The young father was unaware of this.

Time passed. The young father went on a honeymoon and began to realise the extent of the change - no relations were enjoyed. His ideas were dismissed. Romance was dead. After a year or so the wife offered the chance of a second child, but both of them assumed that trying for a child would take maybe eighteen months. It took two days. Physical relations ended once more. Increasingly, the young father found that he could not devote time to his job. A search was mounted for a new one. He went back to the terrible Head of Department. So it was that the birth of the second child heralded more trouble and strife. Initially all was well, but the wife was suffering. Physically and mentally. On the birthday of the young father, now struggling with all of the housework in support, he assumed, of his wife, was met with a midwife. That midwife sternly told the young father that he must take time off work, that his wife needed counselling. Urgently. She needed him to "step up" and "take time off work" and "take more of a share of the housework."

The wife apologised, she didn't know how to ask. She was afraid the husband would say no. The husband was appalled, how would he say no to this? She was suffering PND, she was struggling, of course he would take time off. There were no extra jobs, he had been doing those, but he arranged travel to and from a place some 60 miles distant where the therapist his wife needed lived. It continued over summer during daylight hours, the father taking the children as long as possible on parks, walks, in the local church, playing hide and seek, stressing over his wife in therapy.

Work restarted. The therapy continued twice a week but not on weekends. The father was buffeted, his boss was unsympathetic. His evening disappeared in childcare and ferrying the mother to and from therapy on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On each journey back the wife quizzed the husband about his past and his upbringing. Attempting to psychoanalyse. The husband tried his best to politely turn these efforts down. The therapy was for his wife, focus on him was unfair.

He was accused of not supporting her: physically or emotionally. He was not washing the pots properly. The pet needed to be cared for, after the wife was in bed, for an hour a night regardless of issues. He had the eldest to care for from the moment he arrived home, no later than 5pm, until an ill-defined point in the evening between 7pm and 9pm. The husband began to feel the strain. He did not ask his wife about her day. He did not listen to her answers. He did not say enough in conversations, he was not listening unless he responded with potted summaries and agreement with new and different information. But not too much. The wife demanded he listen quietly, offer no solutions, not interrupt, but not sit in silence. Normal people would know what to do. Conversations flared and died. No one asked about the young father's day, no one cared about the work piling up. That he worked to midnight and beyond was simply further evidence that he did not care about his family.

Then summer rolled around once more. By now his Head of Department was in open warfare. The young father had struggled. Energy drinks were consumed at work. Stress caused him to cry in the face of his wife, who reacted with anger and disgust - what kind of man cried in front of his wife? She wanted nothing to do with it. He must understand that such behaviour made her fear for her children, this was not normal, did he want her to leave? It was scary for her.

The holidays. The young troubled father revealed his cross-dressing, knickers to a grandmother's birthday, to his wife. She explodes. She reveals that her therapy sessions had cracked the PND, were beginning to deal with the trauma of her childhood and the death of her grandparents. But now all of that is lost, derailed, because she has to discuss the father's disgusting habit instead. The therapist tells her that the father is unlikely to change. She is disgusted. Bible verses follow. Urging to get it sorted or leave. Reminders that if it is kept secret there must be a reason. This explains everything. His lack of support, his lack of love, his inability to respond.

The years of Hell begin. And the blog starts that December, using incidents from the October to November.

And thus, in this way, a story is completed.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

A Record

We started the Discussion. We seemed to go a ways, seemed to be talking about physical intimacy again, how she was self-conscious, how we might 'roll-start' the engine of our physical intimacy. But. There was always a but. But, physical intimacy couldn't happen until we could spend time together, talk in an engaged fashion. Okay, how do we do that?

We don't.

Okay, but how do we do that?

Well, I must understand how hard I am to live with. How hard it is to try and make any kind of connection with, well, my aspie-brain.

Okay, what am I doing wrong, what do I need to fix?

That therapy she did, way back before this blog began, 2010-11, that was actually about me. About her frustrations at being unable to connect. About living with a block of wood. Yes, she was trying, cack-handed, to psycho-analyse me in the car after every session, to probe what it was that made me broken. She does not recall saying what she did then was to punish me, maybe that was her trying to hurt me.

Oooookaaay. So what do we do now?

Maybe there's nothing that can be done. We don't share interests. I have nothing to talk about with her. There's always something that gets in the way, always an obstacle.

But... you put them there.

Yes, because of how hard it is to live with different brains. She said she didn't want to end it, though she's thought about how maybe she should fifty million times since then, and since then there hasn't been any move to do anything.

What am I missing? What haven't I done? My mother was down, sure, but...

There's always something, see? Always a reason. She's tired, she's got work to do, the youngest has been exhausting, she's organising stuff for the children, my mother is down. We're as bad as each other.

Okay, yes, but what was she expecting we'd do?

How does she know? How can she be expected to know? Here, why don't we play a game of chess, during which she will complain about how she's not getting work done and try to explain how she can't win with two rooks (because that's not a combination you can win with against a king and pawn, why won't I ever take her at face value? Why will I never just accept what she says?) and how our youngest is now awake and how much time we wasted when she needs to do things for her online work. Yes, okay, fine, she'll take me up on my offer of looking after the child whilst she gets her urgent work done. Don't expect her to be happy about it. Long silence. She's sorry. She doesn't want the aspie-ness to be what ends our relationship. She doesn't want it to be like that.

Sleep comes. The morning. The second day.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Confirmation

I love me a bit of battenburg.

Tilly is not a fan. She'd rather gouge out her eyes than eat it.
When I started this place in 2011 it was because I could not discuss things with Tilly. I wanted somewhere to explain what I was feeling, explore what I was doing and, if necessary, find answers. The initial question, where does this leave masculinity and me, was added after reading other blogs and to try and give this place something to chew on. Indeed, my explorations have always been less about masculinity and femininity than they have been about what I enjoy and why. They have been an attempt to understand things better.

Earlier in the week, Tilly said that she had come to the decision that she didn't want to jack everything in, not yet. She didn't know if there was a chance of things getting better but the lack of desire to end everything was a positive, right? She bought me flowers and a battenburg cake yesterday just because and has initiated more hugs since then than I think she's done since we last had sex.

Mt Rainer, like many things, casts a long shadow in an
unexpected way.
But the conversation, the need for it, hung over everything. Tonight she said she was aware of this, unprompted (though I was going to raise it). She does not see how that conversation can have a positive outcome and admitted that she was scared of it all ending. She always had been. The long pauses, the fact that we keep going round in circles, she was just very good at avoiding things. She doesn't want to have the conversation. I can understand that, but I don't think it has been healthy. Unlike her, I do not see her avoidance of it for the last seven years as in any way healthy or helpful, nor something laudable or praiseworthy - she does. Most couples, she said, when one partner raises problems last no longer than a year before either solving it or ending. She, she said proudly, had managed far longer than that. There's wiggle-room, but I think the problems were the lack of physical connection and I think the partner referred to was me, I may be wrong.

And so I wait.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Crux

It seems as though, once again, Leslie was right.

 A series of difficult decisions now have to be made. The time has come, the crux of the matter is here, awooga awooga, this is not a drill etc etc. My marriage may well be at an end. We shall see.

Support has been sought, found, tested, and used. Discussions are taking place. Reality reversal is in full effect but we're moving, ish, toward resolutions.

I also took the time to re-read my first month of posts. Startlingly, for me, they set out very much what I still think. But more clearly and more eruditely than I have done for quite some time. They set out the very simple points at the heart of all of this. The most important were the first four - the ones written before I had a blog to post them to. The images may have changed, or have gone bad, but the text remains remarkably clear. I wish I could still write with that kind of clarity. Anyone reading this blog and wondering about my own take on gender should read them if they want to actually learn something about me and what makes me tick. Hell, I learned something.

And they accurately predict the last seven years of this blog, tellingly, as well as setting out what the topics of the discussions that Tilly and I are now having would be, along with some interesting points on how they would turn out. Not in so many words, but re-reading was illuminating for me, at least. It further proves that I am rather consistent, it is Tilly who is not.

My only direct comment is to share that Tilly told me that she was once more adventurous, before she met me, in the intimacy department. Even the early part of our relationship, but then there were my confusing responses and arguments. Now she's a middle-aged woman with three children. When I claimed on here that I made her boring it turns out that I was spot on. It was me that turned her off sex.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Who's not in bed?

I may have got this book because of my
interests, sure.
The most difficult book I think I've ever read I finished reading last night, whilst charging the car. I started it back in 2014, I think, but had to stop as it all got a bit much in the chapter (the first of two, as it happens) on childbirth. At the time I couldn't explain precisely why I felt the need to stop reading, in fact, I'm not sure I could do any better now, but recently I got kick-started into reading it again and was almost overwhelmed, in a good way, a number of times. I found myself mulling things over as I finished and that is the sign of a good book. It was, of course, How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran which is a fantastic book that is totally not a list of things to do to be a woman, despite its title. It is an autobiographical account of feminism and life, which is fine. Also a big tangent into things I did not know about Lady Gaga. Which is fine.

The reason I got back into reading it some four years after I stopped? Caitlin Moran set up a group on the Book of Faces where men could talk about things that bothered men. Like a safe space for men free from social conformity of, well, the patriarchy. It is... well, it has a lot of women in it and a goodly portion of men that don't fit the narrow stereotypes. It's a nice place. And it's not veered wildly into MRA territory, even though there was one man who, forgive me, NT-splained autism to me after using the term 'sexually autistic' to describe porn-addled youths sending unsolicited dick pics online. I queried and pointed out I was autistic and got told what autistic meant (which was incorrect) and how that definition worked in context (it didn't). I pointed out flaws and was told I was wrong, using more inappropriate terms (mild autism, lower end of the spectrum, high functioning). I have... walked away from that discussion. Apart from that, it's been a very nice place to hang around.

You get the idea.
Intriguingly, for me, there are a vast number of men bemoaning that they'd never been bought flowers, a sizable minority who have been and liked it (and extol the virtues) and roughly even amounts of women amazed that this could be a thing and women who have used it and found it yielded fantastic results with their partners. So far as I can tell, sexless people are not in any great numbers there. I mean, there are plenty single men on the place, which is par for the course, and single women but those with partners report thriving sex lives augmented with things like flowers for men and romantic gestures on both sides. Regardless of age people report loving relationships. It's good to see.

I tried talking to Tilly about it, I did not get far. I said that there were loads of men who liked the idea of flowers and- she cut me off with "and I've bought you flowers." Of course. We can't discuss the fact that something I thought made me more feminine and that Tilly thought was borderline sex reassignment surgery turns out to be a modern masculine trait and what that might mean for other things in my life and between us. To be honest, I don't know how to actually talk about it anyway, or even if it's worth trying, so I can't blame Tilly for that.

I can relate.
Since the family holiday things have been... well, they've been. I cocked up the first night they were back by waiting too long to go to bed and finding Tilly asleep. She had spent a good four hours regaling me with what happened on the trip after I got back from work, a hodge-podge of anecdotes about people I had been told about before, people I had heard nothing about and some aspects involving people she may have mentioned in the past. I performed poorly, did not make the right number of comments nor the right worded ones, but mostly this was ignored in favour of blasting me with stuff that had happened. The second night was similar, but punctuated with childcare so that Tilly could work again and she finally asked what I'd got up to on the weekend. Before the weekend took over and I barely saw her or the children. Not helped by parent's evening, after school training and multiple classes for the eldest. This last week Tilly's mother was round and, again, I barely saw her or Tilly or the children. I went out to get take outs, shopping, charging the car, that sort of thing.

It's half term now. Maybe I can get back to updating this place. Maybe not.

I find that, when I pack away myself after a time of being me, I put more of me in the box. It is unmarked, it gathers dust on top of the wardrobe. It now includes all my camisoles and my feminine watch. It includes any feminine deodorant. The only things not in there are my knickers. Which I haven't worn since the family returned. Too risky now, what with smaller windows to wash my stuff and dry it as winter rolls in. Especially since Tilly pointed out how angry she was getting seeing me hide the knickers (or not, she had no way of knowing one way or the other) that I was using. When that box is closed and placed in its hole I place myself in there too. It's safer there for my identity than anywhere else. It's certainly not safe at work. And my home life, family life, is scrutinised and controlled so that I am not me. I am what it is acceptable to Tilly for me to be.

Agh, I was hoping to write something else, but this happened instead.

Well, hello, I am man.
Psst, skateboards.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Obviation



This ranks up there with 'Try It' in 2013
as one of the photos of me I can stand!
In the film Tron: Legacy Qora, the ISO, discusses with Flynn's son the nature of Flynn's opposition to CLU and how it is based upon the game of Go and some vaguely Eastern inspired philosophies based, in turn, upon the portrayal of Flynn as electro-hippy in the original 1980s movie - along with all the fudges and vagaries that it implied. It's a remarkably clear and honest summing up of the scant regard paid to context whilst also being generally workable as a set of rules for living. She takes about the art of denial of the ego, removing oneself from the equation.

I recently signed up to look at my pension pot, because that's what is happening now and all our details on on leaky online portals controlled by private companies who harvest the data for profit. My 'gold-plated' pension, which kicks in when I'm 68 at the moment (with warnings that it will more likely be north of 70), is currently at £4k a year. However, it will pay that now plus a one time death in service payment of £102k if I were to die whilst in employment. Add to that the life-insurance would pay off the remainder of the mortgage (and no more) on death and the fact that the pension to dependents cuts out after 12 years and you get a reasonably good idea of what my death would be worth.

It would allow Tilly and the children to live relatively comfortably, as they do now with a bit extra on top, for 15 years. Now, as there are 12 years of payments, all Tilly would have to do is raise around £3.2k per year after that point to pay for bills. She can already do £1.5k a year on articles. 12 years of that and she has enough for another four years or so of keeping the house. So, 15 years in all. By that point our youngest would be 16 years of age and the two eldest would likely have flown the coop. So, assuming the youngest needs less input, the last four years would allow Tilly to earn more than £1.5k per year. She could easily earn enough to keep the family home going with bills and insurance until the youngest has hit 21 and likely to be past University (assuming that is their wish).


The point? Tilly has stated that the only reason she is maintaining the relationship we have, such as it is, is to maintain the current situation of where we live and the room it affords along with the contacts and transport links. If I don't want to jeopardise this it would follow the solution is not to leave but to die.

Which brings me back to the beginning and the removal of self from the equation.

Don't know how clear it is, but that is a
size 14 dress that comes to just lower
than my knees. It feels lovely and
comfortingly tight around the under-bust
area, with an inner slip that was just
divine.

The only real issue is that it is just a tad
too tight to sit down in comfortably. So,
obviously I stand, crouch or kneel instead.

Why wouldn't I wear it more?

Oh, and that top is from Poundland!

I love it.
At work, my card is marked. Again. It appears I have approximately five years in the tank in any given place until it is noted that I am something of a loose cannon and my escapades stop being amusing and become detrimental to learning. To whit, I have been told that making the joke "ask me any question, except the one about where babies come from; because we all know that's Sweden. They arrive by stork" is inappropriate to be said in Secondary School and just 'odd' of the kind of eyebrow raising quality one associates with sexual innuendo. I'm not interpreting this, I was told it directly by my Head and a Deputy Head in an unannounced meeting about a fortnight ago. A meeting with my Union rep confirmed my suspicion that they can proceed on pointless crap like this because of parental complaint - it was raised by a parent and not staff - so I don't have much of a legal leg to stand on to get it overturned. They can't force me out, but they can make it next to impossible to operate as my last place did. And here I thought exam results would get me first.

The stupid thing is that my ego, and my issues, mean that I tend to double down. It's like I can't help it. So I've been busting out all of my Dad jokes and silly remarks, silly voices and ridiculous comparisons. My most entertaining RadFem articles and debates on Domestic Violence with allusions to the Kavanaugh debacle in Sixth Form, daft jokes in all year groups and so on. I ran the Politics Taster session with deliberately inflammatory ideas about Feminism and the State of the World with parents. I've gone full activist and taken down my genderbread person infographic, prompting students to get upset about me removing it. This was calculated. I suspect there will be more, not less, conversations about gender (the source of another parental complaint) around the school now. I'm not above shitty tactics.

It's not impostor syndrome if one is actually something of an impostor. This week, for ten days, the rest of the family is on holiday in Bournemouth. I think I may have mentioned this as being in the works. And so you would think I am being efficient. But I'm not. I'm worse than ever. Dressing and being shit online. Of course. I now know why I'm like this, which is good to know, but it doesn't help with me not being like it. It's also hard because, well, I am alone. I mean: cool: I get to dress and read interesting shit and not have to do the pots and lunches every morning. I get to have lights off and the heating turned off and stuff. I get to have a shower every morning and dress in front of a mirror to do my tie and have music playing if I like. I get to eat when and what I like. I get to keep a room tidy and keep track of things. It's not all bad. But it's a bloody poor do when the excitement of doing that, and it is excitement, renders me incapable of working effectively.

And so I'm lonely. Feeling pretty crap, despite dressing and having some reasonably good photos of my new ensemble (£8 the lot), and looking at self immolation as usual.

Same top, different ensemble. Skirt (from Toby)
a size 10 from Next. Vest top rescued from the
bin and ex-owned by Tilly. I blogged about it
before. I "lawyered" about not wearing her
clothes. Frankly, she can do one.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Matching

Between 17 and 20 August I was alone at home whilst the family were on holiday in Portsmouth. I know, this is becoming a feature, but I can't complain too much, my experience of holidays (as evidenced here) is that they don't work well for me. This arrangement works for Tilly as other adults who aren't me get to distract the children and she gets some time to, well, have a holiday. When I'm in tow I guess she doesn't?

And here it is! Seriously, I love it. Now my
favourite item.
All irrelevant. I was alone. Obviously I indulged. At first I was just stupid about it all. I took dares, did some of them and obviously made use of my new purchase for the dropping off of the family and immediately afterward. However, the biggest thing was buying a simple pink t-shirt from Aldi that had sleeves that tied above the arm and holes over the shoulders. It was a revelation. Combined with my knee-length denim skirt and a stuffed bra it was... It may be the most comfortable I have been since 2013's dress photo. So comfortable in fact that I didn't even feel the need to take a selfie. It was lovely and I spent most of my time at home in the get up. I felt like me. Even the new purchase, although used, failed to match the feeling I got from a t-shirt for £2. I tried on most of my wardrobe for very short periods of time but I kept coming back to that t-shirt and skirt combo. I paired it with my wedges and my heeled boots and both were just lovely. The boots work better generally as my feet are not really something I want to see.

Huh. Here is the skirt! H&M.

In combo with the t-shirt... I loved
them.

I know I'm not fashionable. Never have
been, but they felt divine.
As the days went I even let myself shave the bottom half of my legs where baldness or something has denuded the outside of them of hair. I didn't give a shit about hiding it. It felt... nice. I'm not saying I can't not do it, I'm not saying I yearn for smooth legs all the time, but I am saying it's not been tried since 2005 and I welcomed the feeling again. I do also want to try doing that with my armpits too. A brief foray and test with small areas yielded interesting results and felt very nice indeed earlier in the year so that's something for me to consider.

When I went out to do shopping or go to the pub (I went to the pub) I went out with my choice of underwear - knickers and bra - and it was wonderful. If I thought I could have escaped notice I woudl have stuffed the bra. Why? I liked the feeling. I really did. Stuff (ha) how it looked, it looked stupid, it felt nice. Like the t-shirt. The other reason there's no selfie is that I looked a complete berk. But I felt light and airy. Free. Held. Safe. Me. I felt like me again. I didn't even wear the wig much. I mean, I did at first and I love having the feeling of long hair and it falling across my eyes. I love looking through it. I love the weight of it. But I hate how it looks. I hate the fact that it's not real hair. And, well, you know, it just can't be, well, real hair. So I dropped the wig. Oh, and I wore pop-socks (like small tights that are sock sized) when I was out. I under-dressed. Fully. And it was beautiful. I have no words to adequately describe it.

I was invincible. Unstoppable. Happy. I was happy. It was electric.

It was cold and sunny. Bright but chilly. I had split with Toby
for the first time. I was regretting it and thinking things
through. So I fasted to concentrate the mind and aid prayer.

It was helpful. It worked. I got clarity. Too late to repair the
damage my wobble caused. A metaphor for my life.
On the last day I packed it all away. The regret was palpable. Pangs. Like fasting and then walking past a butcher's five days in on a day out in Skipton in 2005 late in March. Proper hunger, not the kind people mean when they declare themselves starving, famished or hungry before lunch. Those kinds of pangs of regret, I nearly cried. But away it was packed. I prepared the house and ensured there was no evidence of anything in the house.

Of course, wearing my new purchase overnight and in heat did leave some issues. The ring left a welt on my ball sack. A skin nodule I have grew and got a bit painful as a consequence. I know this, leave it alone and it goes. Took a couple of days. Worth it, totally worth it. But I shall have to be more careful with the fitting next time, go back to the bigger ring.

The funny thing? I was actually looking forward to Tilly being home. I had genuinely missed her and the children. I was looking forward to the conversation, a hug maybe. I got some hugs. I got some conversation. But, as detailed here, I was also disappointed. She had not, it transpires, missed me much. Nor had the children really. I mean, don't get me wrong, they were glad to see me and regale me with their adventures, but they missed the holiday more than they missed me whilst they were on holiday. A tinge of gall there, but what can one do? Perhaps it's for the best.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Persona

This is not a proper post on here, sorry, it's just a quick one. So much has happened.

The main thing is that I pushed a conversation again. And, records, because: records. Anyway, yes, the upshots were as follows:
1. The cheating thing is how Tilly feels and no, it is not fair. But it is how she feels.
2. She fell in love with my teacher persona. I was listening more then. Or, rather, she felt I listened more then. Can't argue with feelings.
2a - No, she can't imagine being physical with me because of my dressing. She knows I'm still doing it and that just makes her angry.
3. She can't change her reaction to my dressing any more than I can not dress.
3a - It's either as we are or we split.
4. Being a cross-dresser and actually dressing are two different things. It is the latter she has an issue with. My choice (that word again) to dress is the issue. She wouldn't be married to a gay person so, no, the comparison doesn't work.
5. All of this is unlikely to change, but she really doesn't want to ruin everything for the children and each other by ending things. She's heard how my parents acted after they split up. She'd scared she would be the same.
6. Why should she have to change and make it all alright to dress, why can't I be the one to change? But, no, if she could make herself okay with it, of course she would.

And that's it. Take-away, for me, is point 2. Felt like a punch in the gut. I did point out that, if anything, I was more open when we met than I am now but that's not how it feels to her. And feelings are not logical nor open to logic. For normal non-ASD people that is.

Tilly has also tried talking to others about my gender identity issues and the one she spoke to laughed in her face and said, of my musings on using Mx, that I was "just being a man about it". She, and I, have no idea what that means. It does, however, mean that she can't find anyone to talk to about these things and she can't talk to me because I'm the one about whom she is angry.

And that's it.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

To save me from the Hell I'm in

I forced a conversation again. Please excuse the double posting of the song below (as in my last post) I have been finding it very helpful to focus work and not being depressed.


This is more for my records (and sanity) rather than anything else, so bear with me. Yesterday Tilly was 'joking' around in increasingly nasty commentary about what I was doing. I pointed this out. Initially she got shirty and angry about me attacking her, how it was all just a joke and how I was no judge of what counted as nasty or not. Then she tried to say it was hard to adjust from me being depressed and attacking myself. Finally, about three hours after the event, she apologised for being out of order.

Interesting.

Tonight, as I was searching for needle and thread (fruitlessly it turns out) I happened across a DVD, The Prestige. No idea where it's form, nor why it was crushed between screws and such emptied out from an old cupboard back in 2014 or 2015. Anyway, in the course of the back and forth on the DVD and where it came from, Tilly announced that my reaction was the same as with "that parcel" and explained that this is why she finds it hard to trust me, as I could be hiding anything and there was no way of knowing. I quibbled and she changed her statement (whilst not admitting that was what she was doing) to why she sometimes found it hard to trust me.

I pushed on this door. We got into cross-dressing. She has been loving me not dressing (oops, I stopped not doing it with my last entry, she wasn't given a memo) because it stops her hating me. She shared that simply knowing I was dressing at any point was enough to make her hate me, viscerally, and there was nothing that could be done about it apart from me obviously never doing it again. She could cope with me being a cross-dresser provided that I wasn't actually cross-dressing.

I pointed out that she had said, a lot, in the past that this was her issue and not mine, but that she was framing it very carefully about my decisions and my choices. Initially she refuted it, but slowly and grudgingly acknowledged that I could be allowed to feel that if I wanted. I note now and noted then the careful phrasing.

Again I pushed. I said we needed to talk over it again then. She expressed frustration, I would only be repeating myself and this was a primal reaction, an irrational one, and there was no unpacking it. Well, I countered, we need to train this part of her to not fear it so much through repetition or else end it all. Those are our options as I see them, and if we're trying to get better then we have to face it.

Tilly very reluctantly accepted this. She wasn't up for any conversation now though. I carefully pointed out that this would always be the case. The children could hear, she protested. They will be fine, I pointed out, like I was with my Grandpa's homosexuality.

Ah, she said, but that was fine because homosexuality is fine and she is fine with homosexuality. I gave a look. Okay, she accepted, fine.

We had the conversation. The ins and outs are not that relevant.  The main issues are this:
1. She maintains that she never knew about my cross-dressing and that finding out about it felt like a betrayal.
2. She does not like my gender expression. Why can't I be binary like everyone else? Okay, other people can be non-binary, but not the man she married, he has to wear man clothes (her emphasis). Simply thinking about me cross-dressing is enough to make her violently hate me and this has diminished since I'd said I'd stopped doing it. (No, I did not reveal my, ahem, gigantic 'fuck you' to her controlling demands).
3. I told her what was in "that parcel". She was unsurprised, "I don't see what else it could have been." I said that was an interesting response, she said she wasn't prepared to talk any further on that. "Fair enough," said I.
4. Her bisexuality ended when we married, she had a wobble (did I know that? - uh, yes, it was kind of a big deal, Tilly - and I repeated my position on it to her again. For reference: she can be attracted to women, do anything she likes with women and the only boundary is the one she sets for 'cheating'; I would respect her boundary and not judge) and then it was done. Why can't I do the same with my cross-dressing?

On point 4, I pointed out that the parallel was unfair. Her 'bisexuality' and 'monogamy' had been a little conflated there. She was still bisexual (she agreed) but married. Her sexuality was unchanged (she agreed). So she was talking about not cheating, my cross-dressing was not cheating. This caused the final epiphany of the evening for Tilly: it was to her. She would need to think this over and mull on it before I could offer anything. I accepted this, pointed out that I felt it was an unfair comparison to make but respected the fact that anything I said right now would just be noise.

We finished with a long hug, then she went to bed.

Friday, 10 August 2018

I hear their hooves

One of my aspie superpowers is to assert reality. That is, to live as if something were true and then not brook alternatives. An experiment then presents itself: let's see if I have self-esteem.


I shall attempt living as if I have, and we'll see what happens.

Seriously, how to people eat this? It stinks and it just looks...
wrong. Also, it makes me feel sick. No, others can have all of
these, I have no issue, but I ain't having them.
I went to the doctor and he told me that there was 'no relevance' of my 'label' of ASD on depression. Which is patent bollocks, but it didn't occur to me until hours later. ASD. Anyway, I ended up paying the prescription charge of £8.80 on some anti-depressants. And I look at them like I view bananas. I can't actually imagine putting them in my mouth and the more I think about it the more visceral my reaction. I don't want to take them. I don't want to try them. I don't want to take them and be influenced by them. I can't do that. Like I can't eat bananas. It's irrational. It's probably stupid. But I just can't. Increasingly, as time passes (as opposed to other definitions of increasingly), I just can't see myself doing anything with them.

Haunting. Sinister. Trans.

Beautiful. Inspiring. Invasive.

Clear. Yearning. Gender.
Tilly continues to remind me that I promised to try all avenues. She continues to seek to commiserate that my last therapist sounded shit. She suggests that I am unwilling to look up others and reminds me that Relate has a list that may be useful but that Relate tends to side too much with the ASD person and not enough with 'reality'. That's the key to that particular mystery. My last therapist agreed with me and not her.

On Quora, after the last big discussion with Tilly, I posted a question of the type I used to read a lot back when the Experience Project was a thing. It gained many responses that I used to see back then, mainly pitched without the depth and understanding that EP would provide - and a decided leaning to bacon-scented candles as a method of dealing with sexlessness in a marriage. But then there was a long answer that mirrored the kind of good advice that Leslie has consistently given on this blog. It made me sit up and notice anew. Like Leslie does.

Self-esteem. It all comes down to self-esteem.

It can be over-used.

I remember that once she claimed I was doing it to her not
long after I introduced the term to her. Were I to try and remind
her of the conversations had in 2016 and late 2017 to early
2018 I am certain I would be so accused again.

I keep records. I learned that in 2006/7 at work.
In short, and to repeat heavily what Leslie has been saying for years, the concept that as an ASD person I am somewhat vulnerable to having self-esteem destroyed. And that Tilly expected me to change and resents the fact that I simply cannot in many of the ways that she would like. That she is from an emotionally abusive background. That a child learns what they live. I was criticised and admonished, I learned to be criticised and admonished. She was emotionally brutalised and so learned to emotionally brutalise. She was gaslit so learned to gaslight. And my vulnerability is seen as weakness and she cannot stand weakness, it must punished and purged until it is no more. But I am a victim. So I took it. I take it.

When I am broken we have 'real conversations' but if I am a participant we have the truth instead.

Dr Luke Beardon, Sheffield Hallam University.

His blog

His talk on vimeo

He's really into triathlons and the smell of his own dog.
And Autism.
In 2016 there was the same cycle. It took longer. But I beat my depression into remission by logic. By having a spine. And in late 2017 I gained a hard-fought concession: the right to wear whatever the fuck I wanted under my clothes. A concession I threw away. I apologised for something I never said. For what Tilly wanted me to have said so that she could be the reasonable one.

I found the comment that reminded me of the video (thank you anonymous) about myths surrounding ASD by Dr Luke Beardon, who has a blog as well and a book on Amazon that I may buy, and it was a wake-up call. A reminder. My experience counts too. I am precise, I try very hard to say what I mean and I will amend my language if I am wrong. But what I am trying to say will remain remarkably consistent. My memory isn't great but, surprisingly, my emotional core is pretty consistent. That's partly why I keep this blog in such detail. It allows me to check back, to cross-reference, to confirm and challenge what I think happened. To temper the fickle memories with what I said about things at the time.

I had it tonight. It's brilliant.

Also fitting.
I asked her why she was so keen to stop me drinking yesterday. Immediately, Tilly got angry and defensive. She had said no such thing. She had barely even mentioned my drinking. I pointed out she had done so once a day since her parents were over. She spluttered, got red in the face, angrily decried my version of events. How dare I! She doesn't care what I drink, yes she did say I conflated relaxation and beer drinking, in an aspie way. I drink like an aspie. Do I not drink like an aspie? As soon as she could she changed the subject. Today she looked the happiest she has for years because we found a missing exercise DVD. I'm not even joking. Happier than at any point than I remember since the wedding. Tyhen and now, not at me, not with me, but with something else and in my direction. Happy at me.

But, you know, I count too.

Let's make that £8.80 the worst I ever spent. Let's return to wearing whatever the fuck I want. Yes, it IS a choice. But it is not my choice to find that so hurtful and irrationally destructive.

Tilly asked: why would I choose to do something that she hated so much. But this misses something: why does she hate it so much? Of what is she afraid? How does it really affect her? She rages at my washing when it dries, has she noticed that I stopped wearing knickers? No, I know she hasn't. Does she rage ineffectively at my boxers? Probably. She is not raging at cross-dressing, she is raging at it remaining outside her control.

I do not blame her. She is as much a victim as I. As much beholden to her past as am I. I make my offers - I am pleased to offer Butterfly treatment if she wishes, with no hope of anything in return, because I enjoy it - but do not expect them to be taken up. This is also fine. No, I do not believe any woman wants me, an ageing cross-dresser with ASD and three children, for a romantic or sexual partner. Or man for that matter - though I am quite cis in that regard and secure in that, so that doesn't bother me.


But I don't need to crawl. I don't need to beg.

I fucking count.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Untitled

Been a bit delayed, this post.


15 Hours

I can't really deny this.
The day after the day after I got the chastity device I did a better job of putting it on. I took my time in the morning and applied it more comfortably and securely after a shower. I intended to wear it for 12 hours, so from about 8am to 8pm. Seeming logical as a test. And it did what I expected, but better. It was comfortable and rather easy to wear. It's plastic components were like what I imagine wearing a corset would be like. I took the smallest on a walk and, of course, a deserted pathway only became busy when I needed a piss and elected to go behind a bush, of course. However, apart from that, there was no incident. I have to say that the experience was almost enjoyable. Apart from an ill-advised look at fap-roulettes on the bog later that day, which was a little constricting if not painful, it was almost easy to forget that I had it on.

I noticed that it was harder to deal with my usual aftermath of going to the loo, that is dripping, but apart from that there was no real ill-effect. Wearing it on the hottest day of the year may have been a bad plan but if that is the worst it can get then all is well. Of course, this was to be the day that Tilly couldn't get the smallest to settle in the evening and so came down until 11pm to 'chat' in the dining room. This meant that I ended up wearing it for 15 hours. As a stress test I think it functioned pretty well and confirmed that the money I spent was worth what I bought. Not quite enough to balance beer for the same price yet but as I suspect this will be far from my last time wearing the device I think I'll hit value for money relatively quickly. The only real surprise for me is that since then I haven't really had the chance to wear it again. I will though.

Underwear

Yeah, older than these and with some attempt at colour.
As hinted at after the big argument on gaining the chastity device, I have stopped wearing knickers. It's odd. It has reminded me that I do rather need to account for testicles, as I stated last post, and that has been... interesting. Also, most of my boxers are in sore need of replacement - which is why I didn't feel so bad investing in new knickers around Christmas time - and that is not an expense that I have planned for. So I suspect I shall be wearing scratty shitty things for now. You may well ask why I am doing this when I was able to derive some actual joy from the alternative, well, more on that in a moment. This just serves to mark the point at which a rash statement can be counted as becoming a reality.

Speaking of anniversaries and marking points, the second anniversary of our most recent dry patch passed sometime in the last month, so that's nice. Not much to say about that. I think it'll become immaterial in time anyway, so there's that. I won't claim that I am unaffected by its passing though, because I am, and I am a little saddened. I know, I know, it's ridiculous. It's sex, right? No big deal. And we've recently had a third child. Two years is nothing in the grand scheme of things.

I am, however, still planning to cross-dress a bit when Tilly and the children are off visiting her parents down south in a couple of weeks' time. Yes, this is how we roll now. I get time whilst they get holidays. Tilly actually gets a break when I'm not there as she doesn't have to worry about me as well as the children. That seems fair. I get friends visiting for beer and the chance to go for beers at other times so I can't really complain.

That concludes the normal upbeat section of my blog. For more you can click the line break or, like a sane person, abandon the post now.




Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Normal

Yesterday my chastity device arrived.

This is what arrived.

I managed to fit it after the big argument whilst everyone was
out. Tilly, Smallest and the Boy were at a soft-play place and
the Girlie was at a friend's house. I had a good hour alone.

Well, okay, no. I had about twenty minutes as Tilly texted
to say that Girlie needed an earlier pick-up. I only had that
long because I had to be in to receive a parcel for Tilly.

Tilly did say, mid-argument, that she knew I dressed when I
was alone and that she really didn't like it but that there was
nothing she could do.

Damn fucking right.
Yes, I bought one and ordered it and it arrived and I had time alone enough to put it on. Actually, it was pretty comfortable and, well, interesting. I mean, it took a while to get it to sit right. This was a bit of an issue because I didn't really have long enough to do that before running errands and stuff and so it ended up hurting toward the end of the day. Mainly as I have rather forgotten to account for testicles in recent months. However, main thing: it arrived and it felt good and I wore it for seven hours. I shall be wearing it again. It is worth the money I paid for it.

It arrived, however, whilst I was out. Tilly was suspicious of the parcel and checked the return address - it was a fancy-dress shop in Leeds. She angrily texted me to say she knew it wasn't school supplies but no further details. When I returned (I'd been out with the youngest) she launched into a diatribe about being lied to. She did not reveal how she knew, nor where the parcel was, for twenty or so minutes. That was hard. I mean, how much did I tell her? How much did she know? How much did she not want to know? She told me, after a while, that she had no desire to know what was in the parcel, none. She simply didn't like the fact that I'd warned her a parcel would be arriving that would need signing for and that I'd said it was school supplies.

Yeah, okay.

Less finger pointing but same eyes.

You must understand that my eyes flash too. And I am
irritating in that I tend to react differently to normal input.

Try harder.
In the course of the ambush, for want of a better word, she revealed that she still rages inside when she sees or is reminded that I am wearing knickers. She doesn't get it, she wishes it would go away, and she would like me to stop. She does her best to ignore the washing but she can't and they hang out and that is just wrong and annoying.

I didn't have a lot to say in return. I asked if she wanted to know what was in the parcel, she said no. I confirmed it was not school supplies and that I didn't know why a fancy dress place in Leeds was on the label (I don't). She said it was about trust. I pointed out that she had googled the return address. Not valid, she shot back, she was already certain something was going on from the way I mentioned the parcel the previous day. Had I said nothing, she said, she would not have checked. I pointed out that she would have asked and that lies would still have happened. Try harder, was her response. So, in essence: don't lie but try harder when you do. Right, good, glad that was clear.

Not a shit live-in au pair. Probably a very good one if that arm
round the shoulders is anything to go by.
Tilly is worried, you see, that I will leave her when I realise that I can do better. My Father had multiple affairs and I am his son (I thought that was a low blow, a few hours later when it was too late to say anything). I pointed out that I couldn't. I was waiting for her to gain the emotional energy to find a bloke, or a woman, she could actually be intimate with. She would lose nothing.

What is she afraid of losing? Well, she is perfectly happy with the way things are. With me as a kind of shit live-in au pair that works for free and provides some money whilst doing some of the chores. Tilly wanted to stress how good things had been in the last week (she was referring to the weekend and Monday, one assumes), she'd forgotten the angry start to Monday I think. I was going to give the family a lift into the city because the elder two had a drumming club. Tilly, being grumpy in the morning, got snappy. I tried to get details and she ended up getting angry and blaming the children being slow and the fact that she couldn't remember times on me. If she didn't have to organise me then she'd be better off. If I took them in to town I'd only stress her out by not knowing where I was going or where I was parking or the traffic or whatever. In the end I had snapped back that I'd keep out of her way if she liked.

Not any more.
Without really patching things up, I'd given them a lift in. Then spent a fruitless hour or so getting the smallest some new shoes and not getting me any. "We get on when we don't interact much" opined Tilly later. Can't say that I disagree. In fairness, this was her response to my "we work best when we're not in a relationship" comment, so it's not out-of-the-blue. Mind you, I did get a compliment on a new shirt I'd bought the previous day and my haircut that I got (whilst in chastity it's worth noting) that day, so... I don't know. I think Tilly was on her best behaviour.

Today was an exercise in us not interacting much. Tilly had stopped being on her best behaviour. I have stopped wearing knickers (Tilly does not know or care, this is purely because I can't any more given the argument yesterday). I took the smallest for a walk and some shopping whilst Tilly took the eldest two to the cinema; then we switched while Tilly paid for the smallest's upcoming Christening (the after-party, not the service); then we switched again while Tilly cooked tea and then switched back so I could eat and Tilly could bathe smallest and hit the sack. Tilly is now working on an article and smallest is asleep. Tomorrow will be similar, I suspect. I'm the live-in baby-sitter on holidays.

Can you imagine?
I saw a couple sat out by a local lake in the sunshine today. All young and romantic. Wine and roses, picnic blankets and sandwiches. No contact, but clear warmth. Is that romantic? I was minded of when we had a free evening in Carlisle way back. I took Tilly to the city, we searched for where to eat but it was late and nothing was really available without paying the earth. I took her on a walk by the river because I remembered it being beautiful, but it was late and so shit because we couldn't see anything. We stopped off in a pub, before the walk along the river, and I talked about the decor and how things had changed and hadn't. Tilly referred to this, later, as me taking her on an architectural trip around Carlisle. It wasn't romantic, she said, interesting but not romantic. She had assumed I would take her on a romantic trip that night, if intimacy was what I was after. But I didn't.

Diving into work in the last fortnight before breaking up I spent most mornings crying to songs.